It seemed for a while this morning that our field trip to the Autry Museum might not happen this morning. Our bus was supposed to be here before nine o’clock. When we called a little after that, the Transportation Branch admitted that they had neglected to schedule us for today. We were lucky that they managed to arrange something at the last moment, and we made it to the museum just in the nick of time. Once we were there the classes were divided into groups. Some went off to work on the Gold Rush and develop gold panning skills, while other classes - including the one I shadowed - explored the museum first.
We had some really great docents. Here on of the docents is showing the students a Plains Native American dress and explaining how it was made.
This resulted in a great discussion about the buffalo. Our guide called the bison the “Super Wal-Mart” of the prairie peoples.
Students also learned more about the role of the stagecoach in the development of the west.
Of course, that mode of transportation depended on a good supply of horses and riders. The students were able to get a bit of the feeling of riding on a horse.
They saw exhibits that went over some of the key parts of a western town such as the saloon and the jail. They enjoyed their time in jail!
The other part of the trip was learning about the Gold Rush and learning to pan for gold. We had one of the museum’s resident teachers to guide us through this part and she was great! So were our students who answered every question correctly! They rocked and I was so proud of them.
At our “sluice” we were joined by Ruben, another one of the teachers. He explained the finer points of panning as if he were old Quartz Jackson himself!
Our students picked it up pretty quickly and were finding nuggets of “gold" in no time.
Of course parents, before you decide you can retire early, it was really only pyrite. But it was still fun to find those nice glittering chunks. they got to keep the two biggest pieces.
After this we had lunch and then boarded the bus for home.
Homework: Some students may need to finish the essay they wrote when we returned to school. Most are already finished with it.